By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: May 26, 2010
Karen Giblin and Mache Seibel MD answer your menopause healthcare questions.
Dear Karen & Dr. Seibel,
I am 46 years old and my periods lately have been very irregular. My gynecologist told me I am starting menopause. I am not planning on having any more children since I have two teenagers already. Could you please tell me if I need to be concerned with birth control at this time?
If you are sexually active, you need to worry about contraception if you do not want to get pregnant. You should not give up your birth control as you are not at “ground zero” until you have not had your period for a full year (twelve consecutive months). Ovulation occurs sometime between 10 to 14 days into the menstrual cycle and it often times becomes wildly erratic and unpredictable during the time of perimenopause. This is one reason why there are such high rates of unplanned pregnancies at his time.
I am certain that many of us know someone who has had a “change of life baby.” In fact, Karen’s mother had two! You might want to consider using a diaphragm or an IUD (if you have only one partner, infection rates won’t be increased) since they don’t require taking any hormones. However, new low dose oral contraceptives are available that have been developed with this time of life in mind. Consider getting a bone density test to make sure you are not developing osteoporosis. The “pill” can not only prevent pregnancy but also regulate your cycle and help prevent osteoporosis. So discuss with your doctor reliable and convenient birth control methods.
Best of Health!
Karen and Dr. Seibel
With our premiere issue of the Menopause Minute®, we are introducing the Ask the Experts column in which our experts Karen Gilblin and Dr. Mache Seibel will field questions from our members, and answer one each month.
You may submit your questions via email to Karen and Mache at firstname.lastname@example.org